Mexican-born filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has not directed a feature film since winning the Oscar for directing The Shape of Water However, he will be returning to the director’s chair to make a new darker adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s 1883 novel Pinocchio.
This project is close to Del Toro’s heart. He’s wanted to do Pinocchio for years. “Del Toro has pined to make a darker version of the wooden boy tale for the past decade.” according to Deadline (writer Mike Fleming’s pun, not mine.) He has already co-written the script with Patrick McHale (Over the Garden Wall and Adventure Time) Del Toro will be co-directing with Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox).
This new version of Pinocchio will be a stop-motion animation film and it will be broadcast on Netflix. Del Toro has never directed an animated feature, but he produced The Book of Life and Kung Fu Panda 3, and was co-creator of Netflix’s Trollhunters, a series Del Toro first envisioned as a feature, then created as a book, which then became a Dreamworks TV series.
Del Toro is famous for directing Hellboy, Crimson Peak, and writing the scripts for the Hobbit movies, He also created the TV show The Strain.
Most Americans only know the Disney version of Pinocchio. An adaptation based on the original book — especially with a del Toro twist is likely to surprise many viewers. Not just surprise, but shock. Uncle Walt, God bless him, had a habit of making drastic changes to the books he filmed. This was especially true for Pinocchio, the puppet who wanted to be a real live boy, but had a problem with dishonesty.
Del Toro’s new version of Pinocchio will be a musical, set in pre-WWII Italy.